Innovations in Dry Eye Treatment: Lifitegrast, for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adults

Innovations in Dry Eye Treatment: Lifitegrast, for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adults

We are all waiting for the approval of Lifitegrast which has the potential to create a different and better category for dry eye treatments.
Millions of patients suffer from debilitating dry eyes in the US, so we hope Lifitegrast will provide help to our patients!

Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS
(I have no stock in this company but maybe I should!)

Shire Resubmits New Drug Application for Lifitegrast to U.S. FDA

LEXINGTON, MassachusettsJanuary 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ —

  • Resubmission includes positive data from OPUS-3, a Phase 3 efficacy and safety trial 
  • Company committed to advancing new treatment option to address unmet medical need in dry eye disease 
Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG) today announced it has resubmitted the New Drug Application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its investigational candidate, lifitegrast, for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease in adults. Shire resubmitted the NDA in response to the complete response letter (CRL) the company received from the FDA on October 16, 2015.
Addressing the FDA request for an additional study, Shire included in its NDA resubmission package data from OPUS-3, a Phase 3 efficacy and safety trial with a primary endpoint of patient-reported symptom improvement. The resubmission package also included information requested by the FDA regarding product quality.
“The NDA for lifitegrast now includes data from five randomized controlled clinical trials, with more than 2,500 patients, making it the largest data set for an investigational stage compound in dry eye disease to date,” said Philip J. Vickers, Ph.D., Head of Research & Development, Shire. “Because we believe that, if approved, lifitegrast has the potential to help the millions of U.S. adults living with symptoms of dry eye disease, we worked diligently to submit our response to the CRL as quickly as possible. This is an important milestone for Shire and underscores our commitment to providing innovative new treatment options in areas of unmet medical need.”
The new drug application for lifitegrast now includes data from one Phase 2 study, three Phase 3 efficacy and safety studies (OPUS-1, OPUS-2 and OPUS-3), and one long-term (one-year) Phase 3 safety study (SONATA).
The FDA has 30 days after resubmission of an NDA to acknowledge receipt and determine if the submission is a complete response. Upon acceptance, the FDA will provide Shire with a PDUFA date anticipated to be within six months of the date of submission.
About Lifitegrast 
Lifitegrast binds to the integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), a cell surface protein found on leukocytes and blocks the interaction of LFA-1 with its cognate ligand intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). ICAM-1 is over-expressed in corneal and conjunctival tissues in dry eye disease. LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction contributes to formation of an immunological synapse resulting in T-cell activation and migration to target tissues. In vitro studies have demonstrated that lifitegrast inhibits T-cell adhesion to ICAM-1 expressing cells and inhibits secretion of key inflammatory cytokines (IFNγ, TNFα, IL-2) as well as inhibiting other proinflammatory cytokines: IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, all of which are known to be associated with dry eye disease.
About OPUS-3 
OPUS-3, a Phase 3 study that evaluated the efficacy and safety of lifitegrast versus placebo, met the primary endpoint of significantly improving patient-reported symptoms of dry eye disease from baseline to day 84 (p=0.0007), and met key secondary endpoints of symptom improvement from baseline to days 14 and 42 (p<0.0001 for both endpoints).
About Dry Eye Disease 
Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface diagnosed by an eye care professional. It is diagnosed based on patient reported symptoms, such as eye dryness, overall eye discomfort, stinging, burning, a gritty feeling or fluctuating blurry vision, as well as signs, which can be measured by an eye care professional to determine the presence of dry eye disease (e.g., Schirmer test, corneal fluorescein staining, conjunctival lissamine green staining, and tear break-up time). Age and gender are recognized as traditional risk factors of dry eye disease while modern risk factors include prolonged screen time, contact lenses and cataract or refractive surgery. Dry eye is an often chronic ocular disease associated with inflammation that may eventually lead to damage to the surface of the eye. Dry eye may be progressive and is one of the most common complaints to eye care professionals.
Shires Commitment to Ophthalmics 
In May 2014, Shire established its Ophthalmics Business Unit, solidifying its commitment to growing in this therapeutic area. Shire’s multi-faceted approach to discovery, development, and delivery in both rare diseases and specialty conditions includes our efforts to address unmet needs in eye care.
Shire’s ophthalmics business has been driven by a combination of strategic acquisitions and organic growth. Committed to growing its reputation as a leading biotech company, Shire is focused on continuing to expand its ophthalmics portfolio to include treatment options for rare diseases and those for anterior and posterior segment eye conditions. In just over two years, acquisitions include Foresight Biotherapeutics, SARcode Bioscience, Premacure AB, and BIKAM Pharmaceuticals, which have helped bolster Shire’s early-, mid- and late-stage ophthalmics pipeline. The Company currently has an ophthalmics pipeline of investigational candidates in dry eye disease, infectious conjunctivitis, retinopathy of prematurity, autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma.
Shire enables people with life-altering conditions to lead better lives.
Our strategy is to focus on developing and marketing innovative specialty medicines to meet significant unmet patient needs.
We focus on providing treatments in Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, Gastrointestinal and Internal Medicine and we are developing treatments for symptomatic conditions treated by specialist physicians in other targeted therapeutic areas, such as Ophthalmics.
For more information, please visit Follow Shire on Social Media: @ShireplcLinkedIn and YouTube.
Forward-Looking Statements 
Statements included herein that are not historical facts, including without limitation statements concerning our proposed business combination with Baxalta Incorporated (“Baxalta”) and the timing and financial and strategic benefits thereof, our 20×20 ambition that targets $20 billion in combined product sales by 2020, as well as other targets for future financial results, capital structure, performance and sustainability of the combined company, the combined company’s future strategy, plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, the anticipated timing of clinical trials and approvals for, and the commercial potential of, inline or pipeline products are forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time. In the event such risks or uncertainties materialize, Shire’s results could be materially adversely affected. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • the proposed combination with Baxalta may not be completed due to a failure to satisfy certain closing conditions, including any shareholder or regulatory approvals or the receipt of applicable tax opinions;
  • disruption from the proposed transaction with Baxalta may make it more difficult to conduct business as usual or maintain relationships with patients, physicians, employees or suppliers;
  •  the combined company may not achieve some or all of the anticipated benefits of Baxalta’s spin-off from Baxter International, Inc. (“Baxter”) and the proposed transaction may have an adverse impact on Baxalta’s existing arrangements with Baxter, including those related to transition, manufacturing and supply services and tax matters;
  • the failure to achieve the strategic objectives with respect to the proposed combination with Baxalta may adversely affect the combined company’s financial condition and results of operations;
  • products and product candidates may not achieve commercial success;
  • product sales from ADDERALL XR and INTUNIV are subject to generic competition;
  • the failure to obtain and maintain reimbursement, or an adequate level of reimbursement, by third-party payers in a timely manner for the combined company’s products may affect future revenues, financial condition and results of operations, particularly if there is pressure on pricing of products to treat rare diseases;
  • supply chain or manufacturing disruptions may result in declines in revenue for affected products and commercial traction from competitors; regulatory actions associated with product approvals or changes to manufacturing sites, ingredients or manufacturing processes could lead to significant delays, an increase in operating costs, lost product sales, an interruption of research activities or the delay of new product launches;
  • the successful development of products in various stages of research and development is highly uncertain and requires significant expenditures and time, and there is no guarantee that these products will receive regulatory approval;
  • the actions of certain customers could affect the combined company’s ability to sell or market products profitably, and fluctuations in buying or distribution patterns by such customers can adversely affect the combined company’s revenues, financial condition or results of operations;
  • investigations or enforcement action by regulatory authorities or law enforcement agencies relating to the combined company’s activities in the highly regulated markets in which it operates may result in significant legal costs and the payment of substantial compensation or fines;
  • adverse outcomes in legal matters and other disputes, including the combined company’s ability to enforce and defend patents and other intellectual property rights required for its business, could have a material adverse effect on the combined company’s revenues, financial condition or results of operations;
  • Shire is undergoing a corporate reorganization and was the subject of an unsuccessful acquisition proposal and the consequent uncertainty could adversely affect the combined company’s ability to attract and/or retain the highly skilled personnel needed to meet its strategic objectives;
  • failure to achieve the strategic objectives with respect to Shire’s acquisition of NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. or Dyax Corp. (“Dyax”) may adversely affect the combined company’s financial condition and results of operations;
  • the combined company will be dependent on information technology and its systems and infrastructure face certain risks, including from service disruptions, the loss of sensitive or confidential information, cyber-attacks and other security breaches or data leakages that could have a material adverse effect on the combined company’s revenues, financial condition or results of operations;
  • the combined company may be unable to retain and hire key personnel and/or maintain its relationships with customers, suppliers and other business partners;
  • difficulties in integrating Dyax or Baxalta into Shire may lead to the combined company not being able to realize the expected operating efficiencies, cost savings, revenue enhancements, synergies or other benefits at the time anticipated or at all; and

other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in Shire’s,  Dyax’s or Baxalta’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), including those risks outlined in Baxalta’s current Registration Statement on Form S-1, as amended, and in “Item 1A: Risk Factors” in Shire’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014.
All forward-looking statements attributable to us or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date hereof. Except to the extent otherwise required by applicable law, we do not undertake any obligation to republish revised forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
For further information please contact:
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Michele Galen
Gwen Fisher
SOURCE Shire plc
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